Joined USJ: 2014
Ann Monroe-Baillargeon, Ph.D., knows that opportunity can present itself in random and fortuitous ways. For her, it was a chance meeting with a professor from the College of New Jersey. He invited her to be an adjunct faculty in the International Teacher Educator Program where she would spend two weeks overseas each year, instructing teachers in Americanized schools. Having studied inclusive education in Denmark for two months after obtaining her B.A. in Special Education, Monroe-Baillargeon jumped at the chance. She welcomed the opportunity to immerse herself in another culture, perhaps in a country she never thought she would visit.
For her first assignment, she was asked to go to Cote d’Ivoire. The location was unfamiliar and she had no idea what to expect, yet she did not hesitate to say yes. “Some people want to know the outcome of their decision before they try something new,” she said, “but, we have no way of knowing exactly what will happen,” and Monroe-Baillargeon was not going to let uncertainty stand in her way.
As she recalls the last 18 years of travel to places like Africa, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Egypt, she knows the experience was transformative, both personally and professionally. As a teacher, she understands the world locally and globally. As a person and a mother, she developed a deeper understanding of her own culture and how the world views it.
Monroe-Baillargeon learned how to navigate a community and a culture, while being respectful of customs. She forged kinships with women, sharing in special celebrations and key moments — like voting for the first time.
Her international experience expanded her perspective of the world. “I watch the news very differently, I understand the conditions, the unrest, and the disease in a way that I would never have understood by reading it in a book or seeing it on TV,” said Monroe-Baillargeon, She is committed to keeping the program in her life; it is part of who she is as a professional. As an educator, she encourages students to teach internationally and to realize that “one connection can open up the world to you.”
Ph.D., Syracuse University
M.S., University of Southern Maine
B.A., The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee